Chechnya Republic overview
Chechnya Republic (other spellings Chechen, Chechnia, Chechenia, Nokhchiin) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation, part of North Caucasian Federal District. The capital and administrative center is Grozny city.
The republic is located in the Northern Caucasus mountains. Main rivers are the Terek, Sunzha and Argun. Largest cities and towns of the region are Grozny (293,000), Urus-Martan (50,000), Shali (49,000), Gudermes (47,000), Argun (30,000).
Chechnya Republic population is about 1,325,000 (2012) on the territory of 15,647 sq. km.
Chechnya Republic history
Chechnya permanent resistance to Russians has its roots at the end of the 18th century when the Russian Empire began to spread its influence in the region after signing The Treaty of Georgievsk between the Russian Empire and Kartl-Kakheti (Georgian state) in 1783.
Georgian state was seriously devastated by numerous Persian and Turkish invasions and according to the treaty the Russian Empire agreed to give its protection against the invaders.
At the end of 1930th, during Soviet rule, Chechnya and Ingushetia regions were combined and united Chechen-Ingushetia Autonomous Republic was formed. In 1944, the majority of Chechen and Ingush people were deported to Kazakh SSR (present Kazakhstan) and Siberia.
The official reason of such Stalin’s decision was that it was a punishment for assisting Nazi Germany forces during the World War II. Later, after 1956, Chechens and Ingush people returned to their homeland according to Khrushchev plan of de-Stalinization.
After the end of the Soviet Union, in 1991, once again strong independence movement appeared. The leader of the movement was ex-Soviet Air Force general Dzhokhar Dudayev. He became the president of Chechnya.
But the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin argued that Chechnya could not get independence because during the the Soviet times it was all the time the part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The other reason was that if Chechnya got independence some other regions of Russia (like Tatarstan) would like to get independence too.
Chechnya Republic nature
Chechnya republic nature view
Chechnya republic landscape
Later, in 1994, the First Chechen War began. It was lasting for more than two years. Main reason of the war from Russian side was to stop Chechnya from seceding while Chechens were fighting for their independence.
Russian army had advantages in manpower, artillery, air support but it was unable to control effectively mountainous areas of the region with plenty of Chechen guerrilla raids.
In 1996, Boris Yeltsin (the first Russian President) declared a ceasefire and peace treaty was signed in 1997. In 1997, Aslan Maskhadov was elected the new President of Chechnya.
He continued to maintain the sovereignty of Chechnya while asking Moscow to help Chechnya to be rebuilt after the war. Russia was sending money for rebuilding the republic, pensions and funds for hospitals and schools.
Later, in August 1999, Chechen forces began unsuccessful attack on neighboring Dagestan republic trying to help Shura of Dagestan who wanted Dagestan to be independent from Russia.
In September 1999, several bombs were blown in apartments building in Moscow and other cities of Russia. Chechens were blamed for the explosions and the Second Chechen War began.
That time the Russian army was organized better. The army could establish control over all regions of Chechnya. Grozny was captured in February, 2000. Russia could successfully install pro-Moscow regime.
Chechen rebel movement is almost disabled but some acts of terror still happen in North Caucasus region.